At the start of this month, President Barack Obama publicly indicated that he would seek compromise in order to get a comprehensive immigration bill signed into law this year, but he also stated unequivocally that he would not compromise on his insistence that any immigration legislation must contain a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The president also stated that he could accept legislative compromises to the current Senate proposal through an amendment process, provided that the bill would still address certain core elements, including:
- border security issues;
- punishment of employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers; and
- streamlining of the processes involved in applying for immigration status or benefits.
Immigration advocates are still concerned that the path to citizenship should not be so narrow or difficult that millions of immigrants would be discouraged from ever applying for citizenship (the current proposal would require many years of waiting and many steps to take).
Still, the president has affirmed his support of the current senate bill, acknowledging that it contains some measures that he does not like which were a product of extended negotiations. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do,” the president reportedly said, expressing optimism that enough bipartisan votes can be found in the House to support the comprehensive immigration solution.
While some observers on the Hill have doubts about a bill that opponents have decried as “blanket amnesty” it appears that many varied special interest groups support the reforms, including the Chamber of Commerce and various civil rights groups. Thus, there are sound reasons to be optimistic about passage of a bill this year.
As always, the Law Office of Ronald Shapiro, Esq. stands ready to serve those in need of immigration assistance, including those who are likely to be the beneficiaries of expected legislative reforms. Please contact us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified immigration attorney and/or check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.